XO Sauce Asparagus & Scallops
I made this XO Sauce asparagus & scallops thanks to my buddy who gifted me a box of frozen scallops just before Chinese New Year (CNY). This is a great dish to cook all year round, because it feels luxurious for special occasions (such as CNY, birthday celebrations or gatherings), while simply indulgently pampering on normal days.
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I actually made this dish for my family’s bento to bring to work. In the bento lunch box, the XO sauce asparagus & scallops are served with an orange salad (since it is CNY) and a 16-grain rice. Click here for the lunchbox recipe.
INGREDIENTS (XO SAUCE ASPARAGUS & SCALLOPS)
First, prep the ingredients:
- Frozen scallops – thaw and pat dry on paper towels.
- Yellow chives – cut them to equal short sections. For carrot flowers, check out this tutorial.
- Asparagus – Trim the ends, and then shave down the stems of each asparagus spear. Cut the shaved asparagus diagonally to equal short sections. The extra step of shaving is essential to eliminate the woody texture. Check out the detailed tutorial for preparing asparagus here.
XO Sauce is the essential seasoning sauce in this recipe. I’m using Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce. This bottle of XO sauce is expensive because the main ingredient is dried scallop. I only use about 2 spoonfuls every time I cook, so to me I am still stretching my dollar. My secret is that whenever I do not what or how to cook, I will use XO sauce as it makes everything delicious :P You can use either the original (pictured above) or hot (actually mildly spicy) versions for this recipe, according to your preference. I like both, but if I am cooking for guests, I will use the original so as to cater to everyone.
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STEP-BY-STEP (XO SAUCE ASPARAGUS & SCALLOPS)
First, heat a large pan or a wok with oil. Pan fry scallops until lightly seared on both side. Set aside the scallops on a plate.
Add a bit more oil. Stir fry garlic, ginger first, then add asparagus & carrot. Stir fry at high heat for about a minute.
Add yellow chives + Chinese wine (pictured above) with a bit of water/stock. Stir fry briskly.
Add XO sauce and sauce. Stir fry to mix well.
When the asparagus are cooked, return the scallops to the pan to coat them evenly in the sauce.